- from Enlightenment
It’s 1750, and you are the 12-year-old daughter of a wealthy man. At the dinner table, your father and brothers talk about exciting scientific discoveries.
Your father talks to you, too. But all he wants to know is how you’re doing with your needlework or what your mother is teaching you about running the household, when you would rather talk about the big ideas he discusses with your brothers. Will you ever get to look through a telescope or read Sir Isaac Newton’s book? Your uncle has different ideas about what girls should know. So your cousin is learning Latin, the language of science. Maybe she will teach you.
For centuries, wealthy and middle-class women were seen as ornaments to a fine home. Their education focused on domestic work, and their job was to be obedient to their husbands. During the Enlightenment, some women rebelled against that role. And they weren’t quiet about it!